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Alsmithia longipes (= Heterospathe longipes)

A smallish palm with a slender, solitary trunk to 3.5 m (12 ft) tall that holds an open crown of ascending, bright green, pinnate leaves that unfold in a brilliant red. The fruits are rather large and bright red, the single seed is heavily sculpted and very easy to recognize. Alsmithia is very rare in cultivation as well as in its wild habitat on the Fijian Islands of Taveuni and Vanua Levu, where only a few hundred individuals persist, growing on steep slopes in extremely wet, dense rainforest to about 500 m (1600 ft.) a.s.l. Originally described by legendary palm botanist Hal Moore as Alsmithia longipes, it has recently been transferred to the genus Heterospathe, a questionable move, despite some DNA data in support. In cultivation, Alsmithia does best in a sheltered spot in the tropics.

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germination comments by our visitors
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Seeds from this species ...

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

... are of high ornamental value
In Lufkin Texas in USA they need little care.
Needs to be kept warm, sheltered and moist. Very tropical in its requirements. Do not let it dry out.
Submitted on 01/11/2008 by Shirley A Billingsley

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If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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